Morales to Rejoin Rockies

April 18, 2009 | 6:25 pm  

Franklin Morales will rejoin the Rockies on Monday in Arizona, and return to the rotation on Tuesday, has learned.

The question is who will go to make room for Morales. The likely candidate would be Matt Belisle, who was added to the roster on April 8, when Morales was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs after allowing one run in six innings in a start at Arizona.

The Rockies have so many off days in the scheduled, they decided to go with an extra reliever because they didn’t need a fifth starter again until Tuesday. At the time, they did say they wanted to have Morales stay on rotation as a starter, although they told him when he was sent out there was no guarantee he would come back.

Morales, however, pitched six strong innings for the SkySox on Wednesday, allowing Reno one run in six innings. He gave up only four hits, but did walk five.

Given the efforts put in trying to get Morales back on line after his struggles a year ago, and the fact he was their most consistent starter in spring training, the Rockies feel they need to recall him to keep Morales moving forward.

Right-hander Jason Hammel, another consideration for the start, worked two innings on Saturday in the Rockies 9-5 loss to Los Angeles. It was only the second time he pitched in the eight days since he joined the Rockies.

Belisle, a non-roster invitee to spring training, is believed to have signed a 45-day clause when he was placed on the big-league roster, meaning the Rockies could send him out anytime in the first 45 days after he joined the team, and they would be responsible for only a pro-rated portion of his big-league salary, not the full amount, and he would accept a minor-league assignment if he clears waivers.